A funny picture to lure you into a very serious post. Remember this guy?
So I’ve been holding off on writing this for a while, and after some serious deliberation, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and do it. Honestly, ya’ll have no idea how nervous I was to even voice this to anyone I know. And although what this post is about is obvious by the headline, let me just reinforce that 1. I’m not pregnant 2. I’m not trying to become pregnant and 3. I didn’t kill anyone. Ok? I’m just joining Weight Watchers. And the reason for my abnormal nerves? I feel like a “nutritionist” failure because of it.
I’ve been into nutrition for most of my life. I remember the moment it turned into a passion for me. I was in 7th grade and was an avid swimmer. I swam on the middle school swim team as well as on the swim club team. I’d spend upwards of 4 hours in the pool a day. However, even after 4 hours of extreme exercise, I was still a little chubby. I’ve always been a bigger kid. Even though I loved my veggies growing up, I loved my Little Debbie cakes just a little bit more. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and how much I wanted. Although I was very active, that didn’t offset the 5 Nutter Butter bars I was eating before bed. Well, while the rest of my peers were slimming up and sprouting their bosoms, I was still wearing 12-14’s in women’s sizes and had the body frame of a chubby little boy. However, that all changed when my club coach, after a very disappointing practice one afternoon, decided to mandate that we keep a food journal so we could track “all the crap we were eating.” And at the ripe age of 13, I hadn’t discovered the art of lies, so my journal was a correct reflection of my food choices. As cheesy as this may sound, that food journal changed my life and how I view food, nutrition and my overall health.
I still recall when I had that “a ha” moment and it all clicked. I was really dissapointed with how I swam in one of our meets. I honestly worked my little ass off that week in practice and still performed sub par. So I went home and read through my journal and knew, that minute, why I was performing so crappy. The whole week I’d stuffed myself with macaroni and cheese, ding dongs, sweet tarts and cookies, and did not have but 2 servings of fruit or vegetables that whole week. I knew, that instant, that what I ate had a direct correlation with how I swam and how I felt. I knew then that I had to make some changes. And 6 months later, I dropped at least 30 pounds and found myself fitting into a size 0-2 pants. And you know what else? I started kicking some serious ass in my 50 freestyle 🙂
Although I ended up putting some of that weight back on, at 5’7, the most I’ve weighed since then is 165 pounds. That’s heavy to me, but in the grand scheme of life, I know that’s a perfectly healthy weight. Especially for my height. But even though I knew I was nowhere near obese, I still felt horrible about myself. Here’s a picture of me at my highest [I’m in the green].
I knew, based on how I felt and what I saw when I looked in the mirror, that I had to lose weight. So I started doing something I knew worked and began a food journal. It took a bit longer than it did in the past [8 months to be exact] but I lost 25 pounds and found myself at a perfect weight for my body. At 140, I was lean, toned, in shape and most importantly, I was happy. I loved how I looked, how I felt and how my clothes fit. At 140, I felt invincible. From that point on, I remember stating “I will never let myself gain this weight back! I feel just too good!” And I was true to my word. I stayed at a healthy and happy 140 [some days even 138!] until I graduated college, a full 7 months later. Here’s me at my happy weight, on my 22nd birthday.
Me with my family the night before graduation!
I looked great, right? Even though my weight crept up a little after graduating, it was still only by about 5 pounds. My clothes still fit and I still felt great about myself. The weight really didn’t start to pile on until I started my first 9-5er, a month after walking across the stage. And that weight I gained? Yeah, it’s still here, a full year and a half from when I started.
I’m on the left. This was taken in July.
There are a bunch of reasons why I’ve gained a total of 15 pounds this past year and a half. For one, I work 8-10 hours a day sitting at a desk. And with an hour commute to and from work, by the time I get home, I’m often too exhausted to work out. I know that’s just an excuse, but it’s the honest to goodness truth. Secondly, my job offers a bunch of perks. One of them being snacks, candy and free food. There is always something. Whether it be birthday cake, a jar full of candy or free sandwiches, I’ve started eating well over my alotted calories. Third, I’ve gone through fits of depression. What I’m doing now is not what I got my degree in and to me, that’s very upsetting. Although I’ve overcome my sadness and I’m feeling so much better about the job, there were months where I was utterly miserable. And the only thing that really cheered me up was wine and junk food. And lastly, I’ve taken to cooking lately. Even though I’ve been making really healthy dishes, there are only 2 of us, and I often make enough servings for 4-6 people. Although we do save a bunch for leftovers, I still end up overeating and serving myself huge portions. These are all factors that contributed to the creep on the scale and I take full responsibility for them. I’m almost 25 and I need to take charge of the one thing I can control; my body. It’s time to get healthier and feel better about who I am, physically and mentally.
And this isn’t the first time I’ve really tried to lose weight and be healthier. I’ve been trying, hard, for the past year. Even though I’ve tailor made plans for myself, nothing has worked. As a girl who knows a lot about health and nutrition, and one who is going to go back to school to become a registered dietician, this is kind of a huge blow to me. I should know this stuff, I should know what it takes to lose weight. So why aren’t I? Because I’m not perfect. I’ve tried my best to write a plan for me, but it didn’t work. Instead of beating myself up over why it didn’t, I know I have to find something that will. And after doing a ton of research and consulting with friends who have lost weight and are HAPPY on Weight Watchers [like Kelly!], I knew it was the right plan for me. Ya’ll have no idea how scared I was to even admit this. I even texted my bff, “Emily, will joining Weight Watchers make me a nutritional failure?” She wrote back with “No! I believe it’s a good plan and it’s a really good system. Just know you are beautiful the way you are!” Love when she ends her texts with that 🙂 But seriously, I’ve been afraid that ya’ll will think I’m a failure. My heart and soul is nutrition. I get nutrition Google alerts, I read all of the big nutrition blogs and I even order nutrition textbooks offline so I can be caught up when I go back to school. Nutrition and health are my life. With that being said, I was scared my readers and friends would be like “Um, you study this stuff. How come you can’t lose weight without the help of some diet? You obviously must not know much!” I know, way harsh thoughts, right? But it’s all I could think about. So friends, I’m taking this huge leap of faith by posting this. I hope you all still believe in me and will still read, even though I’m seeking outside help to lose weight. I just know what I need is some structure, and I really think Weight Watchers is what’s best for me.